Alibaba Browser Removed From Several App Stores In China

Alibaba Browser Removed From Several App Stores In China

Photo: Courtesy of Alibaba

Alibaba Group Holding Limited’s (BABA) popular internet browser has been removed by several internet companies from their app stores in China, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

What Happened: Most of China’s Android app stores, including those operated by technology companies Xiaomi Corporation (XIACF), Tencent Holdings Limited (TCEHY), and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd., have blocked downloads or removed Alibaba’s UC Browser, as per the report.

The move comes a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that Beijing’s crackdown on big tech companies was just beginning, the report added.

China’s state-backed broadcaster CCTV included the UC Browser among several brands that it accused of flouting consumer rights in its annual name-and-shame program for the World Consumer Rights Day on March 15, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Why It Matters: The latest move highlights Alibaba’s escalating feud with the Chinese government.

Alibaba has been facing increased regulatory scrutiny since last year after a speech by co-founder Jack Ma rubbed the Chinese Communist Party the wrong way. The e-commerce giant was also forced to shelve IPO plans for its subsidiary Ant Group last year.

It was reported on Monday that China’s government has asked Alibaba to sell its media assets due to concerns about the technology giant’s growing influence over public opinion in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Price Action: Alibaba shares closed almost 1.5% lower on Tuesday at $226.93 and further declined 0.2% in the after-hours session.

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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